Safety watchdog endorses same oversight for trampoline parks as roller coasters
An independent safety organization is recommending the provincial government regulate trampoline parks, similarly to how roller coasters, waterslides, bumper cars and other amusement park mainstays are handled.
Technical Safety BC supervises the safety of amusement rides and devices, and says the current regulations don’t properly address safety at trampoline parks.
The push to rein in the parks comes after several serious incidents, including the death of a Victoria-area man at a Richmond trampoline park in 2018.
"With our expertise in technical systems’ safety, our team works hard on behalf of all British Columbians to provide government with impartial advice on how to enhance the safety system and ensure these very unfortunate and tragic events are prevented," wrote Technical Safety BC’s President and CEO Catherine Roome in a statement July 17.
"As technologies change and new devices come onto the market, safety regulation needs to thoughtfully adapt to reduce hazards and make the public safer."
Jay Greenwood jumped into one of the foam pits at Extreme Air Park in January 2018 and later died, leaving the 46-year-old's family and friends devastated.
"Jay was just one of those guys—gregarious, every time I saw him he was smiling," said Deanna Young, who knew him for 15 years, told CTV News last summer.
The safety overseers determined through a review process that the existing regulatory framework wasn’t sufficient enough to properly address safety issues for "new rides and experiences," like trampoline parks and ninja gyms, where people can climb and scramble over netting and up various walls, ladders and slides.
However, amusement devices used "exclusively for professional or sports training" and monitored by coaching or training staff could be exempt for any new regulations.
Technical Safety BC says they engaged with more than 400 members of the public, academics, industry experts, health professionals and park owners and operators, all who agreed that "safety is of paramount importance."
"We want families to feel secure knowing that a fun family activity is also safe, and that’s why government agrees with this recommendation," said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "I welcome Technical Safety BC’s forthcoming regulatory framework that will better protect people in British Columbia."
The organization says it intends to submit final recommendations to the provincial government towards the end of the year.